Women's Tour - Oxfordshire finale
Residents cheered on elite riders when this year’s Women’s Tour professional cycling race returned to Oxfordshire on Saturday 11 June.
Hosted for the third consecutive time by Oxfordshire County Council, and the county’s city and district councils, Oxfordshire was the venue for the final stage of this year’s six stage race, won by Lorena Wiebes.
Enthusiastic residents ensured a colourful spectacle along the route, showcasing their neighbourhoods to national and international TV audiences.
Riders were flagged off in Chipping Norton’s High Street on a 90 mile route to the finish along Oxford’s historic St Giles’.
Carterton pupil, Chester Youd, aged 7, from St John the Evangelist CE Primary School, won the competition to design the starter flag. Read his story here, and see his Union Jack inspired artwork above.
The route passed through many picture-postcard locations, including taking in one of Britain’s most loved areas, the Cotswolds (see image of the Burford hill climb, above). It headed as far north as Milcombe – a short distance from Banbury where Italian rider Marta Bastianelli triumphed in the 2021 race – before changing course and travelling south through West Oxfordshire towards RAF Brize Norton in Carterton.
Stage six also visited Faringdon, Wantage and Abingdon in the Vale of White Horse; and Didcot and Wallingford in South Oxfordshire, where a large section of the route followed the stunning scenery of the North Wessex Downs.
Riders crossed the River Thames using the Folly Bridge as the race entered Oxford from its south side, with a dramatic finish on the historic St Giles’.
As in previous years (image below) many residents used their creative flair to give the competitors a bright and colourful welcome.
Throngs of spectators cheered noisily as the riders approached the finish line in Oxford.
Businesses, community representatives and cycling club members had also helped raise awareness in the build up to the race (image below).
Councillor Liz Leffman, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “The Women’s Tour has been a fantastic way to showcase our wonderful county to the world. Hosting this prestigious race for a third time was a great collaborative effort between the county council and our local authority colleagues.”
Leading law firm Blake Morgan sponsored the final stage of the Women’s Tour.
About the Women’s Tour
Created by SweetSpot Group in 2014, the Women’s Tour is the UK’s first international stage race for women, bringing the world’s top riders to compete in Great Britain as a part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour.
The race, which has been won by the likes of Marianne Vos (2014), Lizzie Deignan (2016, 2019) and Demi Vollering (2021), attracts an annual roadside audience of 300,000, as well as over three million fans through linear and online platforms.
(Photographs courtesy of SWpix are marked in the ‘click on’ captions)
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